Using Strategic Measurement to Understand Performance
Condensing twelve months of employee contributions into one comprehensive annual performance evaluation can be challenging. To make things more difficult, managers run the risk of damaging engagement levels if annual reviews are perceived as “unfair”. Your team counts on you to see a full, robust picture of their performance, including the activities they do well and their opportunities for improvement. Employees want to walk away from a performance evaluation meeting feeling empowered – not embarrassed.
Take Subjectivity Out of the Performance Evaluation Process
The use of strategic measurement to assess employee achievements takes subjectivity out of the equation. Pursuing a fact-based approach to annual evaluations ensures staff members understand exactly where their strengths lie as well as how they can improve, without the appearance of subjectivity. These four tips on using strategic measurement will make delivering feedback more effective:
Align Metrics with Company Goals
Gaining employee buy-in for your selected measurement tools depends on your ability to make metrics relevant to department and company goals. For example, if your business claims to offer world-class customer service, metrics should focus on customer experience feedback. Many puzzled staff members feel frustrated when they are told the company’s primary goal is customer satisfaction, yet they are measured on the speed at which they get customers off the phone or out the door.
Choose Valid, Reliable Metrics
In the world of measurement, the validity and reliability of metrics are the two most important qualities to consider. Validity is the extent to which a metric actually measures the behavior it is designed to measure. Reliability is the extent to which the metric consistently measures the specific results over time and between staff members.
Communicate Expectations Early and Often
Once you have selected the metrics that will be considered in performance feedback, communicate expectations right away. When possible, explain the process at the beginning of the measurement period, then offer regular reminders when appropriate. Employees that understand what they are supposed to do and how success is determined feel empowered to achieve the desired results.
Provide Regular Performance Updates
Don’t wait until the annual performance review meeting to provide year’s worth of feedback. Regular updates will ensure there are no surprises when evaluation discussions occur.
For more tips on transforming your performance feedback process for increased effectiveness, visit A Better Leader. User-friendly training modules walk you through common errors and how to avoid them, as well as best practices for meaningful, motivational performance discussions.